Game Of Thrones Showrunners Break Silence On Final Season And Coffee Cup 'Embarrassment'

Game of Thrones Jon Snow Kit Harington HBO
(Image credit: Helen Sloan / HBO)

Game of Thrones’ showrunners have broken their silence on the final season and the “embarrassment” of the coffee cup mistake. The controversial and divisive last chapter saw its share of issues. Earlier this year, Dan Weiss and David Benioff planned to attend 2019 San Diego Comic-Con after it aired. They ended up not going. Many cast members still went and discussed the season.

In a new interview, Game of Thrones' showrunners address the mess-up that was that much-speculated-about rogue coffee cup. They also talk about the final season and the show’s record-breaking Emmy nominations. First things first, it is time for some coffee chat. On that mistake, Dan Weiss and David Benioff told BS10 Star Channel:

David Benioff: It's like, you know, I think in Persian rugs, it’s tradition that you make a little mistake when making the rug, because only God can do anything perfect. So for us I guess that just was our [mistake].Dan Weiss: That’s why I put the coffee cup there. [laughs] Conscious, concerted statement of our imperfection.David Benioff: We were concentrating so much on Daenerys and Jon Snow that we just didn’t see this coffee cup right in the middle. So, at first I couldn’t believe it, and then it was embarrassment. 'How did we not see this coffee cup in the middle of the shot?’ And then, eventually, it was just kind of funny. This one is just a mistake, and it’s kind of funny to us now.

How they missed it is a question they acknowledge asking. Initially, HBO was quick to handle the coffee cup mistake. They offered a great reaction and then quickly edited it out of the scene. Since it happened, it also got a response from Emilia Clarke.

Of course, the internet never forgets. So it has remained an unintentional yet highly memorable part of Game of Thrones’ final season.

Unfortunately for Game of Thrones and its showrunners, it was not the first error of its kind. A water bottle showed up in the series finale, and there was also an error with Jaime’s hand. Neither got as much attention as the supposed Starbucks cup did.

There was also the issue of Game of Thrones’ much-anticipated battle being challenging to see. That did bother Dan Weiss quite a bit, according to Nikolaj Coster-Waldau. Enough about the lows. Game of Thrones’ showrunners also discussed the Emmy nominations the final season received. Dan Weiss and David Benioff said:

Dan Weiss: It was kind of surprising. I did not know that we expected that. At least in my mind, I thought that the [previous] season would have been the peak and that we would’ve ended up with maybe a couple less [nominations], at best. I felt very happy for all of our team of people, all of the actors and all of the crew who got recognized. Each made us feel really proud of them and happy for them, because we know first-hand how hard they worked; we saw it every day for many years.David Benioff: And it’s also just fun, because once people get nominated, that means they come to Los Angeles for the ceremonies. Ten of the actors are nominated, and so many of the crew members, so it’s just a great excuse for everyone to get drunk again.

I hope the cast and crew get to celebrate a few wins. Game of Thrones’ record-breaking amount of nominations include stars who submitted themselves for consideration. Among them was Outstanding Supporting Actress nominee Gwendoline Christie, who was fond of her character’s last line.

Not discussed in the clip is the showrunners’ reaction to the backlash against the season as a whole. A response that culminated in a petition that was signed by over a million people. After the season ended, HBO’s president of programming, Casey Bloys, commented on the highly-publicized petition.

In a final season that received ample criticism, there is one aspect that many fans will probably agree with David Benioff about. The Game of Thrones showrunner acknowledged a Season 8 scene that stands out for him. Benioff said:

One [Season 8 scene] that sticks out to me, because Brienne of Tarth has always been one of our favorite characters -- the moment where she’s knighted by Jaime Lannister is just a wonderful thing in the story. And to see Gwen’s face in that moment is just -- I’ve probably seen that scene 400 times and every time it gets me. It makes me a little bit thrilled, it makes me tear up. I love that scene.

I have to agree about that scene’s emotional impact. Hence, the thrill of Gwendoline Christie’s nomination. Fans will have to wait and see how her nomination turns out when the Emmys air on September 22.

Game of Thrones’ showrunners have already plotted their next move professionally. They signed a deal with Netflix and have their own Star Wars franchise project in the works. You can watch Dan Weiss and David Benioff’s interview below, including their set visit from Star Wars icon George Lucas:

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To watch Game of Thrones’ final season sans the coffee cup, you can do so on digital. Along with looking forward to the Emmys, you can also anticipate this fall’s premieres.

Britt Lawrence

Like a contented Hallmark movie character, Britt happily lives in the same city she grew up in. Along with movies and television, she is passionate about competitive figure skating. She has been writing about entertainment for 5 years, and as you may suspect, still finds it as entertaining to do as when she began.